So many of my peers have popped out little ones at this point that I’m starting to feel really out-of-the-poop. In an effort to narrow the “can’t relate” gap, I’ve activated a plan. As a good empiricist I’ve learned that the best way to empathize with anything is to experience it myself.
So, I’ve brought in a Malaysian nanny three days a week, even though I don’t have kids. She helps around the condo with various errands. She also does more hands on things, like burping me after I eat. I’m doing this experiment to know not only what parents go through, but also their kids. I weigh more than she’s use to, so we struggle with balance while I’m over her shoulder, and once, we tumbled onto the couch, and it led to intercourse, which I also understand happens with dads and nannies. I’m already getting a better picture of how kids can change things.
Last weekend, I went to my local child rental facility where they let you lease a kid by the hour– like Zip Car, but for infants– and I got to take a tike out as if it was mine all mine. The only rule thay have is that you have to call the kid by his given name, which was a drag. I wanted to call him Vesuvius, but had to stay with Danny. Whatever. The stroller and sippy-cup were not included, either. Extras add up fast, but you need it all to make shit real. This is about having the true experience.
I noticed fast that with kids, it’s never just one thing you have to pay for. If they want to go to the park, it will entail multiple maneuvers that collectively empty your wallet. I pushed the little guy around and ended up at the Carousel. It’s fascinating how quickly people will engage you when you have a munchkin in tow. It opens the door immediately.
Unfortunately, I didn’t meet other parents there. If you’re living in Manhattan with a kid or three, you’re working full-time because it’s irrationally expensive. Did my friend tell me pre-school was $38,000 a year?
However, I was fortunate enough to meet several young nannies. As a side note, one of my major life goals is to sleep with someone from all seven continents before I die. Islands are a small side project, but Tobago is on the list, and hell if there wasn’t a very cute nanny from there, whom I later got to know carnally. Nannies from Sweden are extremely Scandinavian. They prefer the title “au pair”, which is a French term and it turns out they kiss in French, as well. It was a great day out.
Another twist in my learning curve was completely forgetting young Danny was with me. Talk about embarrassing. I met a lovely nanny from Ecuador by the reservoir who was soliciting work. I said I would like to interview her a bit to see if she was right for Danny and kissed her.
She seemed to enjoy my confidence. Machismo! She said. I was about to take her into a public bathroom, when she asked, “What about your son?” I was like, shit! You are good. I was, of course, furious at myself for losing the little guy. Forget about getting your deposit back when all you show up with is the stroller.
After relating said anecdotes to friends-turned-dads, I realized I was not having as authentic an experience as I had set out for. I was told that I should get out of the city and head up to the ‘burbs for a true taste, and so that is what I did.
I hit up an Easter egg hunt with my friend and his 4-year-old. I have such great memories of doing it myself. But what I discovered was far bleaker. In Westchester, child rearing’s a competitive sport. Easter egg hunts become a life or death moment to advance your kid’s self esteem.
However, I was both shocked and delighted to learn that Kyla, my friend’s precocious four-year old, was using GPS to locate her Easter eggs.
Aware of this advantage, other parents had purchased scramblers to snafu Kyla. Fortunately, my friend had invested in an Israeli designed GPS which operated on an encoded frequency, so Kyla cleaned fucking house, and there were virtually no eggs left for any of the other kids.
On the way home, my friend beamed with pride in his Porsche Hybrid, a trunk full of milk-chocolate weighting down the vehicle, as Kyla napped peacefully in back.
Before we left the hunt, I bumped into a buddy’s kid-sister who was babysitting for him and his wife. She had bloomed into quite the young lady. I told her I didn’t have kids yet, but was practicing a lot. She didn’t quite understand, so I offered to drop by after her little ones were asleep to give her a better idea. It’s always easier to understand something when you get some hands on experience.